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Dear League Leaders,
In my house, putting up the 12 foot Christmas tree (getting it, trimming it, putting the base on, dragging it into the house, vertically positioning it, and securing it from toppling) is not the happiest time of the season. It is a struggle. BUT after it is lit and decorated with ornaments made by my kids 35 years ago, it is a wonderful sight. This is what we embrace.
Many Leagues struggled last year. Yours may be among them. And as your conversation (story telling) evolves, you have choices. I recommend that you choose to not lament what didn’t happen and focus on what DID happen.
Once you get into the groove of talking out last year, and recalling the good (finding the rays of sunshine behind the clouds), it will give you an opportunity to begin to talk about and clarify what you intend to do or do better into the next year.
When you talk with your leadership team or board (and other members) about what your League intends to do next year, it will begin to clarify it in your own minds. Saying the things that you’ve been thinking about will affirm and strengthen the validity of your goals and ideas, and increase your League's own determination to achieve. All from saying aloud that which you’ve been thinking.
But there’s also a bonus. By talking plans out loud to members whenever you get the chance as well, you’re indirectly soliciting two things: Positive feedback, and their support. Maybe not all of them, but certainly a few. And as you’re looking for opinions and ideas, make certain that you also enlist their support. Tell them you’re counting on them. Tell them how grateful you are for their support and thank them in advance.
(Pasted below is a thank you letter you can adapt to send to your members. It was originally sent by the executive director of LWV New Jersey to her local Leagues, but I modified it for local Leagues to send to their members.)
If you’re looking to have a GREAT next year, have a GREAT holiday season this year.
Thank you for all you do!
Marcia A. Merrins
LWVUS Board of Directors
Trainings and Meetings Chair
Dear League Member,
It has been quite an exciting year! Thank you for all of your support and hard work.
This year, the League celebrated our 90th anniversary and we held an events in our community to honor our past and celebrate our present and future! We also held forums on the importance of _______________________ and advocated for issues ___________________in the county, and a number of other topics that are of interest to the future of our community. And as always, we have been very busy registering voters and coordinating and moderating debates. Thank you!
The work you have dedicated yourself to in the past year makes us proud - but perhaps what makes us even prouder is the grace and civility each of you has shown during a particularly nasty election cycle. While it seemed as though the tone of the November 2010 election hit a new low, our League members maintained their decorum and continued their nonpartisan work educating in our community.
Thank you for continuing to encourage thoughtful, civil, and fact-based discussion of the issues. Each of you should be extremely proud of your work. We cannot thank you enough for your dedication to the League, our communities, our state, and your nation as you maintain yourselves as nonpartisan and trusted sources of information.
Your Leadership Team